I’m often asked if my kids do yoga. My flexible daughter is a gymnastic enthusiast and the poses often overlap, although I wouldn’t say she does yoga. My kids do not think yoga is cool and as much as I try and explain the benefits of breath and meditation, I obviously I cannot force them.
A fellow yoga teacher, Regina Wiedlin, posted this beautiful message about her daughter and it gave me hope.
“When my daughter comes to my yoga class, as she does pretty regularly, it’s not unusual to have someone joke that maybe I make her come as some kind of punishment. Funny but no. My kids grew up in a house where yoga was a common practice and they were introduced when they were quite young, whether they wanted it or not. Usually, they didn’t really want it. But then they got older and things changed. My daughter Mahin makes a habit of coming to class with me as often as she can, she says when she misses class she feels the impact; less focused, more tense, less calm. When she comes to yoga she finds that she sleeps better at night, her mind quiets and clears. There are plenty of stresses and demands that all of us deal with and Mahin is no exception. A high school senior focused on keeping a solid GPA and making plans for her next move forward while working two jobs carries a heavy weight with expectations and the worry of disappointing added to that load. Mahin discovered in her ongoing yoga practice that taking time to step away from life’s daily grind makes for a world of change. Stepping on the mat both literally and figuratively creates a shift. A practice that includes simple but focused breath work, movement through asana, and quiet time for intention and meditation is powerful. I’m grateful to have Mahin in class when I’m teaching, I feel her presence and with that I am aware of her shift. There is no right age, no right body, no right type – the beauty of yoga is its simplicity and it’s availability to every single one of us…taking time to slow down and breathe is pretty basic, and moving mindfully is not just a catch phrase. Learning to listen. Learning to pay attention. This is yoga.“
I will continue to lead by example and wish one day my children will come to my classes or practice in their own space and experience the shift and beauty of yoga.
Do your kids do yoga with you?